I've been occupied with various immediate matters (nothing bad, just normal things) for the past few days and have not been able to get to writing about several books that I've read recently. Also pulling me away from those are the events of the past few days. And now I'm about to be away from my computer for a couple of days. So I'll just offer a couple of remarks on the Ukraine war (I guess it has to be called that now.)
I have read several things suggesting that Putin is finding that his intended conquest of Ukraine is not proceeding as quickly and smoothly as he expected. Also that the negative reaction by the rest of Europe and the U.S. has been greater than he expected. I expected Germany, France, and others to make only token objections, but what I've read--and I emphasize that it isn't all that much--suggests that they are seriously alarmed and are taking more-than-token steps. Some also speculate/hope that Putin may be willing to settle for less than the total conquest he wanted. I hope that's true.
Now I read that Putin is rattling the nuclear saber, and I think "he's not that crazy." But maybe he is. Or maybe he is resorting to the tactic of making his enemies think that he's crazy and they'd better not upset him too much. I have no idea, of course. But I hope he's not that crazy.
Also, I'm not hearing the chorus of demands that we go to war, George W. Bush style, on behalf of Freedom that I half-expected to hear from the neo-conservative/neo-liberal/whatever voices that were urging us to invade Iraq twenty years ago (not to mention various other interventions). Whether I'm just not in the way of their conversations or they're not blowing the trumpets (for others to follow), I don't know. Maybe they learned their lesson.
Anyway, you don't need me to summarize the news, but here are a couple of things you might find interesting:
This podcast, which is an interview with an emigre from the Soviet Union who worked for some time in our Defense Intelligence Agency. She thinks that our government still doesn't have the ability to understand what makes Putin and others like him do what they do.
And this Rod Dreher post, which includes an interview with a Scottish journalist, Neil Oliver, who makes a point I made in comments on the earlier post--that the most immediate threat to those of us who are not Russia's neighbors is the breakdown of our own internal liberal order. The video itself is more than an hour long, but when I clicked on it it began with Oliver's monologue. If that doesn't happen for you, skip forward to about the 5:30 mark.